York Urbanist


July 14th, 2011
Where? Across Centre Street from the Promenade Mall, Vaughan

Street and pedestrian related building facades

What? Seemingly brand new, this shopping district combines residential with commercial in the old fashioned and workable way.  It puts to shame the shops that occupy The Promenade, but must lend credit to The Promenade for starting the ball rolling at Bathurst and Centre.
Why? Urban designers in the City of Vaughan talked with the developers and their designers.  This was a consensual development agreement that no doubt rattled between the aesthetics desired by staff, the pressure of the developer on Vaughan Council and the technical and philosophical ethics of the consultants. The result is good and made better by its juxtaposition with the Promenade behemoth of the 1980’s view of the commercial world.
How is it an Urban Place to Delight? One may stop short term to frequent the coffee/bagel shops and the traffic is slow through a short street reminiscent of Unionville with its curvature.  In a sunny afternoon, the street closest to Centre is abuzz with activity.  It is evidently ethnic, but friendly to all.  The street benefits from the high density of residential developing in the community.  This street is a pleasant oasis of openness, yet protected from the buildings and streets by planter walls and carefully designed building façades.

A place to meet and greet

This modern day rival to malls appears successful when you look at the number of places that are trying to replicate its architectural vernacular. It seems almost artificial in its clean lines. planters and signage.  The wear of ages will tell whether that cleanliness turns to a ravishing patina or a worn out 2000’s idea.

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